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Meet Dr. Marshack » Colleague Corner
Practice Builders
October 1999 Vol. XVII, No. X issue

Using Intuition to Find Your Niche Market
STRATEGY: By promoting my first book effectively I became a nationally known expert for a wealthy target By Kathy J. Marshack, Ph.D., P.S., Contributing Editor

Practice building fascinates and rewards me as much as my clinical practice. It lets me keep doing what I love: psychotherapy. My business interest grew after launching my practice in 1980. I've attended seminars on business building, read books on how other professions grow, hired consultants and experimented with a variety of growth strategies.

Follow Your Star
But things really began to click when I picked up my proverbial pen. I wrote myself the answer to two questions:

  1. Am I having fun?
  2. Am I doing what I really want to do?

If I can't answer "yes" to both, then it's time to re-tool the practice. I firmly believe that if I am having fun, doing what I want to do, I will be successful.

Under managed care, I couldn't answer "yes" to both questions. So by December 1998, I cancelled all such contracts. I am now busier than ever. I even raised my fees.

Writer's Itch
I wrote my way out of managed care. In 1995, I positioned myself as an expert on entrepreneurial couples. My column on the topic appeared in a local business journal. Next, a publisher bought my book proposal. Entrepreneurial Couples: Making it Work at Work and at Home (Davies-Black, Palo-Alto, CA) came out in June 1998; 90 days later, I had to promote my book myself.

I've done TV appearances on CNN and the Lifetime Channel, spoken at conferences for everything from the Society for Human Resource Managers to the Association of Organizational and Occupational Psychiatrists, gotten book reviews and interviews in The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and Redbook magazine. It's positioned me nationally as the expert on entrepreneurial couples.I've capitalized on that fame by advertising locally and on my website. I receive inquiries from all around the country.The book has become my calling card. And it calls to couples who are entrepreneurial but have no one to help them with the arduous task of balancing intimacy, family life and business management.

Personal Satisfactions
I don't think that you have to write a book to set yourself apart from others. Just do what you do best. If you wind up having fun doing it, you've found a winning formula.